Many thanks to all of you who played my little game of ‘Would You Rather’ on Instagram last week. I’m glad to know that my post ideas are pretty much right on the money for what you want and need to hear about from me! Since your top pick was recycling content, that’s what I’m delivering to you first, but rest assured the others are coming your way soon.
When it comes to your blog and social media, you’re under pressure pretty much all the time to put out new content. And even if that pressure is self-imposed to some degree, the need to truly serve your blog audience and social media followers (and thereby to market your services) is ever-present.
But realistically, most of us simply can’t keep up with creating fresh content as often as we ‘should.’
Which is why – whether you’re short on new topic ideas or you just don’t have time to create content from scratch – knowing how to get more mileage out of your existing content can be a really valuable skill set.
I know what you’re thinking – but don’t dismiss the idea out of hand. Recycling old posts definitely does not have to mean serving up stale content.
By learning methods for recycling, refreshing, and repurposing your content, you can save yourself time and effort while still giving your audience real value – not just sad, sorry leftovers.
Here’s exactly how to do it.
To me, a truly ‘recycled’ blog post is an old post that you’re leaving unchanged and bringing back up in your social media queue. The idea here is that you’re not republishing on your blog but you are re-promoting it on social media.
I know a lot of interior designers are averse to that idea, and I get it. But you have to remember that – because you’re presumably reaching new readers and followers all the time – not everyone has seen all your old blog posts.
And truthfully, even if your entire audience has read it before, as long as it’s something of value to them, they’re going to love it all over again.
That said, I’m really not a huge fan of the social media management systems that upload and recycle your existing content on a continuous loop. Seriously, none of us has content that’s worthy of revisiting many, many times, including (or maybe especially!) yours truly. My thinking is that those systems are best left for large blogs that have multiple contributors and literally thousands of old posts behind them.
Instead, handpick a few of your blog posts you genuinely like (even if they didn’t receive a ton of attention when you first published them). If you still think they contain good information, are appealing, and don’t need a refresh (see below) go ahead and throw them on Instagram.
If you like, you can state outright that the content is actually from awhile back. You can even have a little fun with this and play it up by using a few clever hashtags like #waybackwhen, #gooddesignistimeless, and #stilltruetoday.
If you’re not completely comfortable with re-promoting your old post as-is, you can quickly put some new shine on it by doing one or more of the following:
· Give it a brand new, catchy title.
· Rephrase your main ideas.
· Cut the post down if it feels too long.
· Bump up a short post by adding one or two new thoughts, ideas, products, etc.
· Swap out old images for new ones.
Now you’re good to go with a fresh post your readers will definitely appreciate!
You can also easily repurpose topics and tips from your old posts, using them as jumping off points for creating totally new content.
· Pull 1 point out of an old post and expand it into an entire post. For example, maybe you previously wrote a post about a client project where you hung extra-long curtains ‘high and wide’ to make the windows appear larger and to avoid a high-water effect at the bottom. Use that little piece of info to create a whole new post all about your top tips for window treatments. Or take a different tack on the idea altogether with a post that applies that same design principles to shower curtains.
· Reuse your ‘evergreen’ topics. These are topics that keep are always relevant. They can be seasonal like outdoor entertaining ideas or holiday table setting tips, or always appropriate like how to style a bookshelf or choosing the right sofa for a living room. Even though you feel like you’ve seen more than enough of these topics, non-designer folks truly never tire of them.
· Similar to the evergreen advice above, you can reuse just about any old topic just by adding all new tips or product recommendations (and of course new images!).
· Another trick I love for repurposing old content is something I picked up during my magazine writing days. Simply take an existing or standard topic and flip it on its head. So for example, a post called “How to Pick New Kitchen Cabinets” becomes “5 Things NOT to Pick When Selecting New Kitchen Cabinets.” This lets you offer all the same advice you gave in an older post, but told from a fresh angle.
Pretty simple, right?! So go ahead and take a little time to scroll through your old content. Grab a few ‘oldies but goodies’ and recycle, refresh, or repurpose them. Then add them your editorial calendar for the upcoming quarter. You’ll love the extra mileage you get from your existing content – without feeling like you flaked out on your readers!
P.S. If you need a little extra inspiration for blog topics, subscribe below to get a FREE copy of our editorial calendar template, complete with a month’s worth of actual post ideas for interior designers!
All the best,